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The key information travellers look for on holiday rental listings

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When it comes to the information on your listing, some factors are more important than others. This article looks at what you should share to most effectively attract traveller interest – and bookings

When it comes to guests deciding between accommodation options, not all information is created equal. Of course, the two biggest factors are price and location. But, after these, what information do travellers care most about on a property listing?

That question was answered by 42,513 respondents across 33 markets.* According to them, here are the five most important factors – and some ideas for how you can best tap into each.

1. Reviews from other travellers

Reviews from other travellers were almost universally the most important factor after price and location. 

This was consistent across all generations, and traveller reviews were actually cited almost three times more often than reviews from known sources such as journalists and travel bloggers.

Of those who mentioned looking at traveller reviews when booking, 63% read the most recent reviews, and an equal share say that they look at both positive and negative reviews (54% for each).

Responding to guests was also seen as important, with 35% of respondents saying they look at responses to reviews from the accommodation. That means it can be worthwhile responding to guest reviews in a timely, courteous manner.

2. Room photos 

The second most important factor globally were room photos.

This is considered especially important for European travellers, including guests from France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria.

Guests should have a clear and realistic representation of your property from the photos when booking. Some tips to really make your shots shine include:

  • Offering clear, bright and flattering views of your property looking at its best
  • Capturing every room in your property, from a variety of different angles
  • Highlighting your properties main rooms, features and unique details that will captivate travellers
  • Using a camera that can take pictures in high enough quality and resolution to work effectively across different digital platforms
     
home acquisition

 

3. Accommodation facilities 

The third most important factor globally was the accommodation’s features – such as self-catering facilities, hot tubs and air conditioning.

Providing prospective guests with clear information on the facilities your property offers can not only help to inform a guest’s decision, but can also manage their expectations and avoid any disappointment during the stay (which could affect their review). 

If you want more insights on which facilities can have the most impact, check out our article on the 8 holiday rental amenities you should be showcasing.

4. Free WiFi 

Free WiFi remains an important consideration globally. If you don’t provide it, you risk deterring travellers from booking your property. 

While important for everyone, this factor is particularly valued by long-stay guests. If you’re attempting to attract long-term bookers and work-from-anywhere guests, this is definitely one to highlight.

Make sure your your welcome pack includes all relevant information so it’s easy to find, such as:

  • WiFi log-in details
  • Instructions to reset the router (in case there’s an issue)
  • Terms and conditions on use

5. Cancellation policy 

Another important factor among travellers is a cancellation policy.

Offering guests greater flexibility doesn’t have to mean extra costs or risks for you as guests are often willing to pay a premium for the peace of mind that it brings.

For that reason, it’s usually industry best practice to offer different rate plans – such as a flexible rate that allows guests to cancel alongside a cheaper non-refundable option that still allows guests to modify their reservation – to benefit from interest in both.

You can offer even more flexibility – and sell up to 30% more nights as a result – by joining our Smart Flex Reservations programme, which means if a guest books and then cancels, we’ll help to look for a replacement.  

Getting your listing right can have a big impact

Offering potential bookers the right information at the right time can be what helps them to choose your property from all the other available options. 

On Booking.com we offer all pages a property page score based on the content that partners upload about the listing, and our research shows that properties with a 100% completion get up to 18% more bookings than properties with incomplete content.

But once you’ve got a booking, how can you personally stand out to guests? Find out with our article on what makes a great holiday rental host.

*Research was commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who had taken a trip in the last 12 months and planned to take a trip in 2023. The sample comprised 42,513 respondents across 33 markets. Respondents completed an online survey in January or February 2023. 
 

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Takeaway
  • After location and price, reviews from other travellers are the most important factor for potential bookers
  • Room photos are hugely important – so make sure they’re clear, bright, flattering and, of course, realistic
  • Free WiFi is important too (especially for long-term guests), so invest in it, highlight it, and make it easy for guests to use
  • A flexible cancellation policy remains important to many guests and, offered correctly, doesn’t need to mean increased costs or risk for you